Scientists discovered that children who are breastfed for a period of four months or more have 30 percent changes of not developing any kind of behavioral issues when they begin school.
Problems such as anxiety, bad behavior, stealing and lying appear to have been reported to children that weren’t breastfed much as babies.
The scientist who led the study, Maria Quigley from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, strongly supports the idea that children who lacked their mother’s milk are likely to suffer from behavioral issues. She said: “We found that children who were breastfed for at least four months were less likely to have behavioral problems at age five.”
The team of scientists also had professors from the Universities of Essex, York, and London. Almost 9,500 children that were born in 2000 and 2001 were subjected to the study. Millennium Cohort Study was the actual name of the project. Mothers were inquired if they breastfed their babies at the age of nine months and also how long did they continued to do so. Parents also had to come back and answer to another set of question at a two year period. When their children had reached the age of five, the parents had to check their behavior and ascertain their trait on scores based on a list of questions.
The children who ranked up in the top 10 percent were labeled as holding an “abnormal” score. 16 percent of the babies who were fed with formula based milk had abnormal behavioral scores at the age of five whereas only 6.5 percent of the babies that were breastfed showed the same problems.
Ms Quigley believes that the children who were not breastfed need not necessarily be completely detached of normality. She said:
We just don’t know whether it is because of the constituents in breast milk which are lacking in formula, or the close interaction with the mum during breastfeeding, or whether it is a knock-on effect of the reduced illness in breastfed babies.
The milk coming from mothers have the necessary polyunsaturated fatty acids that can aid the growth process and the development of hormones. This is an important factor in a baby’s brain evolution.